In the world of nursing, work-life balance ebbs and flows. Considering that roughly 62% of the nursing workforce is in a hospital setting, it’s easy to understand how achieving a healthy work-life balance can quickly become a challenge. Flipping from days to nights (and then back again), dealing with difficult patients, and taking on the stress of the job is not easy. Nevertheless, a healthy work-life balance remains a necessity for all nurses. And why not talk about it now? 2017 is the American Nurses Association’s (ANA) Year of the Healthy Nurse, and September’s theme is dedicated to work-life balance.
Importance of being intentional
When your work-life balance is at a healthy level, you hardly even notice. It seems like just another day—status-quo. Slowly but surely, if you let your work-life balance become skewed one way or another, everything in life seems to get out of whack. Before you know it, your job may feel tortuous and life outside of work just isn’t what it used to be. You’re burnt out. Think of it like this: When you’re healthy, you hardly take note of it. When you’re sick, though, the effects seem to creep into nearly every facet of your life.
Can travel nursing really help?
Travel nursing could be a great avenue for nurses to utilize to achieve their work-life balance needs and/or desires. How so? Glad you asked! Here are three great reasons:
- Flexibility: You get to pick where you work and when. If you want a two-week break between jobs, take one! No more fighting for seniority.
- Ability to disconnect: Tired of doing the same old thing on your days off? Long for new adventures? Well, move somewhere that interests you! Is it the downtown lifestyle, being on the beach, or hiking in the mountains that gets you excited? Then go there! Not sure? Give them all a try.
- Great pay: While travel nursing, you often get housing stipends and competitive pay. We all know that financial issues can lead to significant stress. Not having to worry about that is a big advantage. Plus, being able to afford the activities you enjoy will help get your mind off work when needed.
A healthy work-life balance is essential to the well-being of every nurse. Be intentional to care for yourself so you can provide the best care for your patients! As the airline industry always says, “Put your oxygen mask on first, then help your neighbor.” Taking good care of yourself is synonymous with taking good care of your patients.